Category Archives: News

Blue Alexandra: Trust turn the Robins blue for one day only

For the first time in their history, Cheltenham Town are turning blue – but don’t worry, it’s all for a great cause.

The Robins will wear a one-off blue strip for the next month’s match against Crewe Alexandra to raise awareness of the British Lung Foundation, the only UK charity looking after the nation’s lungs.

The idea is the brainchild of the Robins Trust, who have worked closely both with the club and the charity in creating a event to put on a show of togetherness for the club’s fitness coach Ian Hutton and his fiancee Vicky Veness.

Vicky was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer earlier this year.

The 30-year-old personal trainer, runner, non smoker and healthy eater received the shock diagnosis despite looking perfectly fit and healthy and has set out to challenge preconceptions about the illness.

We wanted to play our part, and we hope that turning blue for one match only we’ll be able to create more awareness of this important cause and raise vital funding in the process.

We want the community to come together and get behind this idea in blue from the stands, the colour of the charity’s branding.

Murry Toms, Fan Elected Director said: “The important thing about football is that it is not just about football, and this is a great way to show some support with Ian and Vicky at a difficult time.

“This is a simple idea to use the community around the club as a force for good and drive a greater understanding of this disease.

“It affects 85,000 people a year, as well as those closest to them, and at the moment that unfortunately includes two of our own and we want to help in what little way we can.”

Chairman Paul Baker said: “We are delighted as a club to come together as one to show our support for the British Lung Foundation and, of course, our coach Ian Hutton and his fiancée Vicky.

“We hope the move from our traditional colours to a striking new one-off blue kit, the colour of the charity, will give a very visual show of support and raise both awareness and vital funds for this important cause.”

Lung Cancer Awareness Month

November also marks Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

There are 85,000 people living in the UK that have received a lung cancer diagnosis including people living with the condition, those in remission and those who have been cured.

The British Lung Foundation has been researching lung conditions for 30 years and their main aim is always to improve care – and to prevent, treat and cure lung diseases.

Dr Penny Woods, Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation, said: “We’re incredibly grateful to Cheltenham Town for organising this fantastic event to join the fight against lung disease.

“Every week, around 10,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with a lung condition. This means every week, a family member, loved one or friend, will also hear that someone they care for has a serious lung condition.

“It’s thanks to the amazing fundraising efforts of people like The Robins that we are able to continue our vital work, researching new treatments and supporting people living with lung disease across the UK.”

How supporters can get involved

Our aim is to drive awareness of the work done by the British Lung Foundation, and raise vital funds.

In the coming weeks we will be helping the charity to raise awareness of the illnessby working closely with the club to use all of the channels available to us.

We will ask supporters to go against their instincts and wear blue at the game, bringing red balloons to show solidarity.

There will also be a bucket collection, plus a Robins Trust party in the bar before the game.

The ‘Blue Christmas’ fans fest will feature local legend DJ Shippers in the bar to build the atmosphere before the game and we’ll release more details soon.

Afterwards the Trust will auction one of the match-worn shirts in the bar, and everyone is invited to come along and take part.

The remainder of the squad’s shirts will be auctioned online to raise more money for the charity and we will be releasing more details in the weeks to come.

• Supporters can donate £3 to the British Lung Foundation by simply texting CTFC17 £3 to 70070, and every penny will go directly to the charity. It’s open now and will remain so until after the game on December 9. We can make a difference today.

First ‘Saturday Surgery’ this weekend before cup match

The Robins Trust will be holding a regular ‘Saturday Surgery’ before each home match.

The new idea has been created to allow supporters  to approach members of the organisation to discuss any Club or Trust related issues that they may have, enabling us to represent them.

There will also be an opportunity to purchase a 50/50 draw ticket and join the Trust, now reduced to just £5 annually following last month’s AGM.

Our first surgery is this weekend (November 4), ahead of the FA Cup first round match against Maidstone United at Whaddon Road.

You’ll find Acting Chairman Tarran Wilson and new board member Jack O’Neill located in the main bar between 1pm and 2.30pm.

Other members of the Trust, including the Fan Elected Director, will be dotted around the ground and will be happy to discuss any supporter matters.

Come and say hello!

Trust members receive ticket priority for Forest Green Rovers match

Robins Trust members will receive ticket priority for November’s historic first Football League Gloucestershire derby.

November’s ‘El Glosico’ clash with Forest Green Rovers at The New Lawn will see a large travelling contingent of Robins heading to Nailsworth.

With tickets likely to be in high demand, the Trust have, once again, secured ticket priority, ahead of general sale tickets.

Tickets will go on sale to season ticket holders, club staff and away travel club members on October 31 through to November 7.

Robins Trust members will then have a priority window running between Thursday, November 9 and kick off in the League Two home match with Luton Town on November 11.

Trust chairman Tarran Wilson said: “Once again, Trust fan elected director Murry Toms acted quickly to secure this benefit for Trust members.

“While season ticket holders and regular away supporters are, of course, deserving of advance priority, it’s great that Trust members are given this added benefit.

Trust membership is now just £5 for adult members and we already have guaranteed ticket priority for any future big Cup ties for all members.

“We are all looking forward to the first Gloucestershire Football League derby and I’m sure that tickets will sell out in the away end.

“Anyone who wants to join the Trust can do so on our website or by visiting our new Trust Surgery on home match days in the main bar.”

You must be signed up as a Robins Trust member by Wednesday, November 8 (11.59pm) to be eligible for second tier priority ticketing.


Priority 1
Season ticket holders and Travel Club members (and matchday staff)
Tuesday 31 October to Tuesday 7 November (includes the home game v Maidstone United.)

Priority 2
Robins Trust, 500 Club and shareholders
Thursday 9 November to 3pm on Saturday 11 November (i.e. up to kick-off in Luton Town game.)

Priority 3
General sale
Saturday 11 November (immediately after the Luton Town game.)

West Ham programme notes: Nights like these are what it’s all about

The Robins Trust provides some thoughts for the club’s matchday programme for each home game – here’s what we said for the West ham United edition:

Nights like these are what it’s all about. You quickly forget the 4am finishes, the motorway standstills, dreadful service station sandwiches, grotty hotels and last minute defeats when West Ham United and the TV cameras roll into town. What a fantastic occasion it promises to be and another one to add to the memory bank.

There has been just 16 days since we were paired with the eastenders and tonight’s match, leaving the club little time to pull together a plan. The Trust were represented in the initial meeting the day after the draw to advise on pricing and priority but the club got it spot on both counts.

Having a say in these discussions is so important and a major reason for being part of the Trust. It’s a direct line into the meeting and I can assure you, the club take note. We’ve seen dozens of new sign ups in recent days, each of which guaranteed their match ticket by joining. It’s another of the Trust’s key selling points following an agreement between the Trust and the club back in the day.

We offered help in terms of bodies to help ease the pressure on club staff over the week, but in the end they weren’t required. Credit to Luke James, the club’s ticket office manager. It’s no mean feat to service the demand but together with a handful of regular volunteers, his operation ran smoothly. Well done all.

It’s great to welcome back those supporters that don’t come as often as the rest of us. These evenings are so important if the club are going to grow its regular attendances over the season. Making our big games better is key to attracting people back to Whaddon Road and we look forward to seeing you all again soon.

For the diehard fans this is reward for all the time, effort and money invested into the cause. We’ve had some big ones down the years against Fulham, Sunderland, Tottenham, Everton, Newcastle and of course West Ham United but we’ve never nicked a result, losing them 15-3 on aggregate.

A famous cup win would be the coup de gras to mark the 20-year anniversary of our Wembley win. And hopefully we’ll see a few of you back for the important match against Exeter City on Saturday.

Murry Toms
Fan Elected Director

Crawley programme notes: it’s important to look back to move forward

The Robins Trust provides some thoughts for the club’s matchday programme for each home game and we’ll publish them on our website a few days afterwards:

I’m still very much finding my feet as Fan Elected Director.

Annoyingly I’ve been stitched with the parking space between Paul Bence and Andy Wilcox, but on the positive side I’m massively encouraged with the way the board are backing our new ideas.

We had another positive meeting to discuss the future of the Robins Trust this week. Bryan Jacob’s extraordinary gesture gave every Cheltenham Town supporter a voice at board level, but our membership of fewer than 300 people remains a source of frustration.

I always think it’s important to look back to move forward. We’re lucky in a sense that for 20 years now we have had a huge amount of success on the pitch, give or take a few moments to forget, so the role of the Trust hasn’t needed to be a militant one. The club has been run sustainably and we’ve been rewarded with so many great memories as a result.

Before Bryan’s contribution the idea of raising enough capital to take a seat at the top table was a pipe dream. A lot of hard work went into establishing the organisation and fundraising but the end goal was always a long way off. But everything changed overnight.

So how do we build for the next 20 years? We have a responsibility to continue to raise funds – every penny of which is invested into the club in exchange for shares – but as the fourth biggest shareholder in the club we now need to be far more representative of the town and supporter base.

There’s obviously not enough of us for starters, which we’re looking to change. We want at least a thousand people on board and we hope to reveal our plans to achieve that at our AGM in October, because it’s not unrealistic in my eyes given the crowds we get at Whaddon Road.

There is some terrific work going around the place by the Community Trust, Academy and Ladies and we need to tell the story of what they’re doing in a much better way. I’ve been talking to everyone involved and we hope to work far more closely with them to make sure the town knows what’s going on here.

You only have to look at the excitement created by several England sides this summer, including a stunning success by the great Keith Downing with his Under-19s, to realise that there is much more going on at clubs beyond the first team. Recruitment and community are key.

Our Open Day was a big hit and it perfectly encapsulated the three themes we’re trying to put centre stage this season. The current playing squad and staff were fantastic, mixing with supporters ahead of the new season. The Ladies, Academy and Community Trust held interactive sessions and the legends gave up their Sundays to play a crucial part in our Crowdfunder campaign.

The past, present and future working together – as you may have seen during the away kit launch at Pittville Pump Rooms.

We’re giving it all prominence online, across social media, on the scoreboard, in the new-look programme and on the new BBC Gloucestershire show every fortnight. It’s so important to get the #OurTown message out there.

But while I represent the Trust at board level, the Trust doesn’t truly represent the supporters and we have to come together to improve that.

We’ve got the seat, but now we need to speak confidently on behalf over everyone.

Murry Toms, Fan Elected Director